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Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1902-07-01), pages 784-786"

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784 Reviews of Books 

American Constitution," in the year of grace 1900, calls for surprise and 
not imitation. 

If political history is weak, economic history is in even worse case. 
There is an omnium gatherum of geographical conquests, gold standard, 
steel manufacture, libraries, life assurance, and the status of woman, 
under the section-heading " Sociology "; and, by the by, this journalistic 
use of "Sociology" will itself be significant to the future historian of 
thought. But the transformation of industrial processes, the concentra- 
tion of manufactures, trusts, trade-unionism and socialism, — machinery 
in agriculture, the new sources of grain supply, the effects of this on the 
old lands of the New World as well as of the Old, — of all this there is 
hardly a word. 

But once one realizes that to call it "a review of progress in the 
chief departments of human activity " is simply a bit of advertising ex- 
aggeration, one can recognize that there are a good many excellent 
papers in the volume. One of the most striking is Mr. Carnegie's on 
the development of the steel manufacture in the United States, with its 
prophecy that the age of Bessemer steel is on the point of being succeeded 
by an age of Siemens. It could be wished that there were also an article 
on iron in the first three quarters of the century: "there lived brave 
men before Agamemnon." Mr. Finck's article on the musical century 
and Mr. Kenyon Cox's on painting are broad and illuminating aperfus ; 
Dr. Billings gives cause, if not for optimism, for a sensible "meliorism" 
in his account of the progress of medicine : and Principal Lodge shows 
us how, in spite of all appearances to the contrary, the physicist is making 
his way through "Matter" and coming out at something remarkably 
like " Spirit." In other fields President Hadley and Mr. Midgeley pro- 
vide valuable reviews of railroad development. If the advocates of rail- 
way nationalization are daunted by Dr. Hadley' s judgment that "the 
results of government ownership are not greatly different from those of 
private" (p. 452), the remark will be equally surprising to those who 
have been accustomed to regard the President of Yale as a champion of 
"private enterprise." And, finally, Captain Willcox, of West Point, 
discourses on changes in military science in a way that is certainly 
instructive, but also shows that he had not had time to digest the recent 
lessons of South Africa. Most of the other articles can be passed over 
without special remark. Many are out of scale ; but all present informa- 
tion in a more or less convenient form ; and some have ideas. 

W. J. Ashley. 

Modern Europe, 1815-1899. By W. Alison Phillips, M.A. 

New York: The Macmillan Co. 1901. Pp. xii, 575. 

Mr. Phillips has written a very good book but also a disappointing 
one. The goodness lies in what he has put into it, the disappointment 
in what he has chosen to leave out. "I have been forced," he says, 
"by lack of space to confine myself strictly to political history, to the 
neglect of those forces, economical, social, and religious, in which the 



Phillips: Modern Europe, i8i^-i8gg 785 

roots of politics are necessarily set. ' ' To this decision no reasonable ex- 
ception could be taken had not the author further limited the scope of 
his work by interpreting "politics " as international politics and confin- 
ing his attention to the external history of the states of Europe. He has 
dealt, as Fyffe has done, with those diplomatic and other questions that 
' ' show how the states of Europe have gained the form and character ' ' 
which they possessed in 1899, and how a "Confederation of Europe" 
has been created. This part of the subject Mr. Phillips has treated with 
candor, skill, and accuracy, and his work furnishes the fullest and most 
reliable account, available for general reading, of the political history of 
modern Europe on the diplomatic side. 

While recognizing the unmistakable merits of his book, we must say 
that the restraints which Mr. Phillips has placed upon himself are much 
to be regretted. Possibly conditions of time and circumstance have had 
something to do with this, for he has chosen the easier task. So well, 
however, has he done what he set out to do that it is a pity, considering 
the needs of his readers, that he should have stopped short of the more 
perfect work. In his preface he implies that such a limitation of his field 
was unavoidable. I do not think that anyone reading his book will agree 
with this contention. Masses of detail connected with the Greek and 
Belgian revolutions, with the Spanish and Portuguese civil struggles, with 
the activities of Mehemet Ali, and in general with the diplomatic 
manoeuvers of the period from 1850 to 1871 might have been omitted 
with no such loss to the reader as is entailed in the omission of some of 
the epoch-making events in the history of the individual states. A dif- 
ferent arrangement, combined with compression at some points and elabor- 
ation at others, would have enabled him to deal with questions of 
internal history without regard to their influence on the foreign complica- 
tions. Such rearrangement, involving in no way a recasting of the work, 
would have made room for a discussion of the reform movement in Eng- 
land, the socialistic agitation in France and the rise of social democracy 
in Germany, the emancipation of the serfs in Russia, the industrial and 
commercial expansion of recent years, and other similar phases of Euro- 
pean history that are of more importance in a work on modern Europe 
than are the petty political and dynastic quarrels of the smaller and even 
of some of the larger of the European states. This one-sided treatment 
has rendered the portions of the work that deal with the last thirty years 
particularly unsatisfactory because they do not in the least indicate the 
real forces at work during the period. 

For these reasons we are forced to say that although Mr. Phillips 
has made an important addition to the small stock of good books on the 
nineteenth century he has not furnished the history that many expected 
him to write. The field is still open to anyone who desires to produce 
a good text-book covering the period since 181 5. 

There are some evidences of haste in the composition of the work. 
The word " hurry " is written all over the last sixty pages ; the bibliog- 
raphy is noticeably incomplete and is inaccurate in the titles of some of 



786 Reviews of Books 

the works listed, while the latter are given without dates, editions, or 
the names of publishers. In the text there are a number of errors and 
many crudities of style. "Genua" should be "Genoa" (p. 8); 
" Gregoire " was not a regicide (p. 83); the Count of Artois was not 
childless (p. 85); Comitati is not Latin (p. 243); the Ausgleich is 
renewable every ten, not every seven years (p. 447); there is no 
chancellor of the Austrian Empire {ibid.) ; " eight years " on page 356 
should be " five years "; the treaty of the Straits was signed in 1841 not 
in 1842 (p. 230) ; while there are many who will not agree with Mr. 
Phillips when he says (p. 526) that the peace of Europe to-day is 
founded on fear, or that France has gained nothing from the Dual Alliance. 
An Englishman, whose countrymen are ever ready to fasten on America 
responsibility for journalistic style, should not have been guilty of such 
expressions as "nigh on a century," "choke-full of prejudice, " "a 
snatch victory," " brainspun fogs," " whilom governing classes, " "in 
a huff"; while " forthrightness," "averse from," "functioned," 
"to treat with the king direct," are not English at all. On page 415 
is a group of sentences made up of a wonderful compound of " shes " 
and ' ' hers. ' ' Apart from these slips the style is not unattractive. 

Charles M. Andrews. 

Two Wars: An Autobiography of General Samuel G. French. 
(Nashville, Tenn : Confederate Veteran. 1901. Pp. xvi, 404.) 
This is a well-written volume, full of interest, abounding in incident, 
and friendly references to many of the most distinguished officers both of 
the Mexican and the Civil War. It is graphic in its descriptions of 
battles and its portrayal of conditions in the south at the outbreak of the 
Civil War, during that war, at its close, and throughout the Reconstruc- 
tion period. The chapter on West Point and Army Post life, and those 
on the war with Mexico are presented in an entertaining style. The 
author was a northern man, and a West Point graduate. He left the 
army a few years before the war and settled in Mississippi. At its out- 
break he entered the Confederate army and became a division commander. 
He was an excellent soldier. 

His book, however, is that of one who has not progressed with the 
times, who shares the heated views of 1861, who sneers at " Yankees," 
who, while proclaiming himself loyal to the Constitution, citing as good 
proof of it that he offered his services in the war with Spain, still believes 
in the right of secession. In these respects it is a pernicious book, its 
teachings are those of a dead past, and wholly out of tune with the living, 
progressive, promising and united present. His volume opens with the 
dedication to wife and children, and to the confederate soldiers "who 
battled with the invading foe to protect our homes and maintain the 
cause for which Oliver Cromwell and George Washington fought." Its 
concluding chapter contains this opinion : "Appomattox terminated 
the war only — it was not a court to adjudicate the right of secession — 
but its sequence established the fact that secession was not treason nor